Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Not So Natural Childbirth

Yet again this kid has thrown me for a loop.   First, the surprise of finding out I was pregnant, then the orneriness of not letting me find out the sex in the ultrasound, now this. OK, message received.  You're #4 and you're making your mark.  I get it!

For all 4 pregnancies I have tested positive for Group B Strep.  I went to the Center for Disease Control (which, thanks to The Walking Dead, will forever make me think of zombies!) and got a few GBS facts.
  • In the U.S., group B strep is the leading cause of meningitis (infection of the fluid and lining around the brain) and sepsis (infection of the blood) in a newborn’s first week of life (early-onset disease).
  • A pregnant woman who tests positive for group B strep and gets antibiotics during labor has only a 1 in 4,000 chance of delivering a baby with group B strep disease, compared to a 1 in 200 chance if she does not get antibiotics during labor.
  • Most early-onset group B strep disease in newborns can be prevented by giving pregnant women antibiotics (medicine) through the vein (IV) during labor.
  • Newborns are at increased risk for a group B strep infection if their mother tests positive for group B strep during pregnancy.
  • The antibiotics used to prevent early-onset group B strep disease in newborns only help during labor — they can’t be taken before labor, because the bacteria can grow back quickly.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Honest Company

I got an email from a friend yesterday telling me about Jessica Alba's baby products.  She was sure I'd heard of them, but actually, they were new to me.  So I went to the website and checked it out.  It's pretty cool!  It turns out that it's more that just baby products, although there are a lot of those too. 

It was founded by actress Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan, former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World.  Their goal was to create products that are safer for our families.  I read a little bit of their blog (which can be found on their website and some pretty cool posts!) and noticed that they just received their B Corporation Certification.  Never heard of it?  Me neither, but, "the “B” stands for benefit, which represents a new breed of businesses that harness their power and resources for public good. This designation is much like a Fair Trade or LEED certification and signals that we are committed to making a profound social difference, safeguarding people and the planet, and meeting higher standards of transparency, performance, and accountability."  This is always a plus in looking for greener products!

Using my limited research skills, I typed The Honest Company into The Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic Database to see how they scored.  Only 7 of their products were listed, but their scores ranged from 0-2..FANTASTIC!  So I was interested in checking it out further. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

An Arguement for Keeping Kids Busy

This week is Akron Zoo week in our house.  Caden is going to zoo camp for 3 days, then Ellie is going for one.  My kids love to go to the zoo and I do too, but I was afraid this might be a little much, but it's not.  I took Vince to zoo camp a few weeks ago and I wasn't too impressed.  It seemed, like most toddler programs, to be a little over his head.  So  I was really worried about sending Caden.  He doesn't usually do very well at these things, behaviorally speaking.  He got in trouble both days he was at Science Camp at the McKinley Museum so I was very hesitant to drive the 30 hour up to Akron and back for 3 days for him to hate going and misbehave.  But he LOVES it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"The Worst Farm Bill in Decades"

I don't really do politics, but as you know, food legislation is something that really concerns me.  I found a quick clip from the Environmental Working Group's spokesperson about the new farm bill and why it's bad.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Nights

Last nigh Ellie had a stomach ache and fell asleep on the couch before dinner, Vince fell asleep while eating (very pathetic, but Evan and I got a kick out of watching him put a blueberry in his mouth, chew while his eyes slowly closed, then snapping awake to put another blueberry in his mouth.) so it was just Caden after dinner.  (As a side note, I don't know WHAT happened with my kids today to make them so tired...I wish I could replicate it!)  My mom bought Ellie some shoes she found at Babies R Us, both the same brand, both the same size, but one was too big and the other too small, so we were returning them.  I wanted to get a baby book and a boy coming home outfit...just in case.  So Caden and I were off to Babies R Us. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Last Day for The Almond Breeze Almond Milk Giveaway!

I have two comments and 3 coupons for free Almond Breeze Almond Milk.  Today will be the last day to enter the contest...which pretty much means if ANYONE else is interested at all, just post and you'll get that last Almond Breeze certificate!  Here's a fun summer recipe using almond milk.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

This is for Lindsay (Mohn) Poehlmann, who not only shared my link to my blog on Facebook yesterday, but also shares that annoying double "n" at the end of our last names!  She said she likes my blog for recipes, which I realized I haven't posted in awhile.  SO, here's the recipe that I made last night for dinner.  I got it A LONG time ago from Dr Andrew Weil's website.  I'm cutting and pasting from his site here, but I'll also attach the link.  I got a quite a few good recipes from him. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baby Time

Yesterday evening, I went outside with Ellie to "harvest".  We were having green beans for dinner and she and I went out to pick.  This is the second harvest we've had with this group of beans.  I'm really happy with how much we've been able to get with just our few plants.  I'm also proud that I actually planted these guys from organic seeds.  I kind of feel like I can only kind of take credit for the plants that we bought that were already sprouted.
As we went out to the garden, we heard some live music, as which point I realized... IT'S WEDNESDAY!  I managed to totally forget about Gervasi's farmer's market AGAIN!  (Yes, we live THAT close to Gervasi to hear their outdoor entertainment).  I need to write it on the calendar and in my planner, I guess.  Even though the activities have slowed down, the kids aren't in school, I'm still having a hard time keeping it all together.  I'm blaming the baby. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Last Night's Dinner

We had our (and by our I mean the kids, mostly Ellie) favorite dinner last night--breakfast.  I made french toast, eggs and peppers and mixed berries with orange juice to drink.  I don't usually put too much thought into the ingredients I use to prepare a meal...I do that at the grocery store, but when I stepped back and looked at how I had prepared our dinner, I was very pleased with what I fed my family.  The berry trio (strawberries, raspberries and blueberries) were all organic, as were the eggs, peppers (the jalapeno and green pepper were actually from our garden!) and onions .  The vanilla and milk I used to make the dip for the french toast were organic...the only non organic parts of our meal were the sugar I added to the french toast mix, the cinnamon in the mix, the bread (although it was HFCS free) and the OJ (I can't find one that's not from concentrate and Evan doesn't really like it, plus is doesn't have calcium added, which I need right now.  We buy Simply Orange, which doesn't have anything in the ingredient list that I can't pronounce.).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I don't have insomnia.  It's actually the exact opposite for me.  My husband and I joke about the sleep monster that visits me when I'm watching TV.  One minute I'm fine, the next, I'm out.  He is not so lucky.  So when I found this article on natural methods to beat insomnia, I decided to do a blog for Evan.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Antibiotics In Meat

" 80 percent of the antibiotics in use are fed to animals raised for food to keep them growing faster and to prevent them from getting sick in crowded and unsanitary conditions." 

Clearly, it's an issue.  I always buy either organic meat or meat from Giant Eagle's "All Natural Meat from Nature's Basket" section that says antibiotic free, grain or grass or vegetarian diet (depending on the meat), no hormones, no artificial ingredients and minimally processed.  It's not organic, but it's more readily accessible to me and it's more in my price range (around $8/lb of ground organic beef VS around $5/lb for Nature's Basket").   Of course, the Nature's Basket meat is more expensive than the conventional meats, so what's the real benefit of eating meat that's antibiotic free?  According to an article by Margie Kelly, from Healthy Child Healthy World,  there are 3 main reasons why we should all be choosing antibiotic free meat.

Friday, July 13, 2012

FREE GIVEAWAY! Almond Breeze Almond Milk

Through Kiwi Magazine's Blogger Mom Ambassador program I got involved in yet ANOTHER fun free stuff giveaway!  This one is from Almond Breeze Almond milk.  I went to a webinar to learn more about not only the company, but also the process by which the make their shelf-stable packaging.  I really didn't know too much about almonds, but I learned that Almond Breeze almonds are all grown in the USA, California to be exact.  They are a family-based company that has been in the almond-growing business for generations.  Here's the best thing I learned...they harvest the almonds by using a machine that grabs the trunk of the almond tree, shakes it, and the nuts fall off!  I thought this was hilarious!  I guess I just expected a little less, smash-and-grab!  ANYWAY, Almond Breeze sent me two samples of their new Almond-Coconut milk to try, as well as coupons for their shelf-stable boxes of almond milk. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kale, Glorious Kale!

My mother found yet ANOTHER gem for me...a whole book on KALE!  It's called The Book of Kale: The Easy-To-Grow Superfood by Sharon Hanna. 
The Book of Kale: The Easy-to-Grow Superfood, 80+ Recipes
I read the whole thing in one night, so it's a good resource for those of you who don't have a lot of time (isn't that EVERYONE?).  It starts with the health benefits of kale, shocker that it ranks high in EVERYTHING healthy! Then it goes into a very interesting history of kale. (I do realize how incredibly dorky that last sentence sounded...but I found it fascinating that a veggie that is depicted on ancient Egyptian's Pharaoh's tombs and was speculated by paleobotanists to have covered the Earth in the time of the dinosaurs, was such a staple in the diet of the olde Irish that they had "kail fairies", was encouraged in WWII British Isles Victory Gardens, could be such a little known gem in 2012 USA.) 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


So this is my new goal, to add more pictures to my blog. I was looking at some blogs friends of mine do (Not Raising Brats) (Yellow Finch Designs) and I clicked on a few of the "What We're Reading" links and realized, I need more pictures.  Just to be clear, my pictures will in no way resemble what Liz has on Yellow Finch!  They will be off-center and ill-frames, but they'll be a little different than just reading words.  Of course I'm one of the 5 people in the US that doesn't own an iPhone, so I'll actually have to take the pictures with a CAMERA and upload them, but I think it will be worth it.

 I've gotten so lax about taking pictures.  When we take the kids to the zoo, I always think, "We have 100 pictures of this place, we don't need more."  I feel this excuses my laziness for picture-taking.  But it doesn't.  Each trip is different and each experience can be captured on "film" to help me remember that day.  Today I'm going to add some pictures of my garden.  If I had been doing this for awhile, you'd be able to see how it's grown, but this will have to be the "before" pictures.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I am a member of the StonyField Farms MooCrew!  I got an email about it awhile ago, kind of checked it out, then went back the other day and really gave it some time.  It's kind of cool!  It's how I found the Justlabelit.org site from yesterday's post.  There are different  "challenges" that you can do and you receive credits for them.  When you have so many credits you can "buy" StonyField stuff like shirts, water bottles, onesies, all the necessities in life.  But I like the idea none-the-less!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Just Label It!

I found an interesting site the other day while completing my Stonyfield Farms challenge.  I thought it might be something that would be interesting to share with all of you .  It's a website dedicated to changing the way our food is labeled, specifically getting genetically modified food labeled.  Here's a quick video clip about the Just Label It mission.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Eat Wild

As I pulled down my bookmark menu to blog today, I saw a site that I was SURE I'd blogged about before, but I guess not. I bookmarked it a long time ago and I've used it here and there, when I feel like searching for local farms.  It's called Eat Wild and it's a great resource for finding locally raised, grass-fed meat, dairy and eggs.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Here Fishy Fishy Fishy!

Sadly, it's not that easy to fish sustainably.  I always have a hard time figuring out which is the "right" kind of fish to buy.  Farm-Raised, Wild Caught?  I've read articles saying each is the best.  It's hard to find "organic" fish, and I'm not sure that any fish is certified organic (I can see why it would be hard, especially the wild caught." So when I came across this article in my ZooTales from the Akron Zoo, I  was really excited!  FINALLY, some directions! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Missing Cat

When I was trying to think of a blog topic today, all I could think about was my cat, so I decided to blog about her. 

We went to Sesame Place again this year.  We were gone for 4 days and 3 nights.  When we got home, Abby, the dog, was there to greet us.  We started unpacking, the kids played with all the toys they'd missed over the last few days, and Evan and I realized, we hadn't seen the cat.  So we looked EVERYWHERE for her.  She's an indoor cat, so it shouldn't be hard to find her, but we thought she might be mad at us and hiding so we waited until the evening, when the kids were in bed, hoping she'd come out...no luck.  So we put up posters the next day, but we haven't gotten any calls.  I'm going to go to the Humane Society as soon as it opens again (they were closed for 3 days around the 4th of July holiday).